The Chicago Bulls and Dwyane Wade are expected to reach a buyout. Would he make sense on the San Antonio Spurs?
The San Antonio Spurs’ offseason was active, with the signings of Rudy Gay, Joffrey Lauvernge, and Brandon Paul. They’ll all either man bench spots or, for Gay, a starter role in the rotation.
Despite the cooled-down offseason for the Spurs and basically everyone else, there are still two months before the NBA season begins. That leaves trades and free agent signings ready and able for teams to make, with the former up until the February 2018 Trade Deadline.
Big-name free agents already hit the market like Gordon Hayward and Paul Milsap, and were scooped up by other organizations. However, there may be another marquee name set to be available, as ESPN reported Dwyane Wade could look for a buyout with the Chicago Bulls over the next few months. The Bulls are expected to tank next season.
With a buyout of a $23.8 million, it’s possible Wade only needs a limited salary, especially if he wants to play for a contender that’s cash strapped. If so, does that make him an option for the Spurs?
With San Antonio’s current roster, there’s not a clear-cut spot for Flash. Manu Ginobili, Danny Green, Brandon Paul, Kawhi Leonard, Bryn Forbes, and even Kyle Anderson can play shooting guard. There’s plenty of cooks in the kitchen, but what if a few are removed?
Kyrie Irving has been in the trade rumor mill for nearly one month. He requested a trade from the Cleveland Cavaliers in July, and desired the San Antonio Spurs, among others, from the start. The Spurs are also the only rumored team that Irving will commit an extension to.
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If the Spurs pry Irving from Cleveland, it could be a win-now return for the latter. That means LaMarcus Aldridge as the headliner, along with other pieces. That would potentially mean Danny Green and his $10 million salary, using him as a defensive stopper and 3-point shooter next to LeBron James. Bryn Forbes could even be a young piece for the Cavs to take back, with their desire to get assets if they move their star point guard.
Let’s say two shooting guards, whether it’s Green and Forbes or not, are traded in a Irving deal. That leaves Leonard, who can start there but may be better off one position down, a 40-year-old Ginobili, an unknown Paul, and Anderson, who hasn’t seen extensive NBA minutes. So, for depth and as a part-time starter on a contending team, could signing a bought-out Wade make sense?
The spot is there for Wade as a starter, lining up between Irving and Leonard. The Marquette product needs the ball to be effective, but can do this in limited duty while the younger stars feed him open looks. This can be in just 25 minutes per game, as Gregg Popovich rests him for later in the season and the playoffs, especially at age 35.
Wade is still an effective defender, too, something these championship-caliber Spurs teams have been full of, even with aging talents. He posted a 2.5 Defensive Win Shares mark in he 2016-17 season, his second-highest since 2012-13. Nearly 1.5 steals and a full block per game were averaged as well, meaning there’s something left in the tank for this once elite defender.
If not as a starter, Wade can work a sixth man role, while Gay slides into the starting rotation. That means Leonard goes to shooting guard. To preserve his legs, that may be a better option for the Chicago, IL native.
This is all contingent on the Spurs’ potential acquisition of Irving. If not, signing Wade won’t make much sense, with a roster nearly full as it is. Stranger things have happened, though, so could anything develop?